User's Guide
resources <<
>> database

Setting Resources

WXP has several methods for accessing and modifying resources. These include program defaults which are values hardcoded into the programs, the defaults file which stores primary defaults and override the program defaults, environment variables specified in the user shell or script, and finally the command line.

Program Defaults

Each program has default values or actions for each resource. For example, the data_path resource defaults to the current directory. Of course, data would rarely be stored in the current directory so this resource is usually set to a directory on a data server where the data are stored.

Resource/Defaults File

Often, the program defaults are not appropriate. As a result, there needs to be a mechanism to change program defaults. The resource or defaults file is used to specify those resource values that rarely change. The syntax of the values in the file follows the syntax "resource: value". There are two types of resource specifications in the resource file. The first are global resources that are used by all programs.

*file_path: /home/wxp/etc *data_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/data *con_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/convert *model_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/model *sat_path: /mnt/noaaport/goes/sat

This says that the data_path resource used by all programs is set to a mounted NOAAPORT data directory.

The second type of resource specification is a named resource. This specifies a resource setting that is specific to a program or the invocation of a program (through the "name" resource).

lightplot.data_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/nldn satplot.color_table: sat.clr nids.in_file: nids nids.color_table: radar.clr nids.color_fill: bref.cfl

The last three specification don't use the name of a program. To use these, use the name resource:

radplot -na=nids

to set a program environment. This would tell the radplot program to use NIDS data, specify a color table to use and the bref coloring scheme.

Resource File Location

The default resource file is "wxp.cfg". But WXP will look for the files ".wxpdef" and "Wxp.res" as well.; WXP will also look for the file in the following directories:

If the resource file is not in any of those locations, it can be specified with the "default" resource. Usually this is done by setting the wxpdefault environment variable.

export wxpdefault=/home/wxp/etc

If this is the case, it is recommended that this location be set in the user's shell startup script (e.g. .bashrc for bash or .cshrc for c-shell).

To group system and local resource files, each file can be specified separated by a colon ':'.

export wxpdefault=/home/wxp/etc:~user/MyWXP.res

The resource files are processed in the order listed so resources listed and the last resource file takes precedence. The resource file location can be changed on the command line of each program.

Environment Variables

At times, program defaults need to be set for multiple program runs. It is unnecessary to continual modify the resource file is these situations. Also, it is not recommended to set those command line arguments every time a program is run. Therefore, a set of environment variables is provided for each resource. The name of the environment variable is just "wxp" + the resource name. So the current resource has an associated environment variable "wxpcurrent". For example:

export wxpcurrent=la

will specify to use the latest (la) available file. Each program will use this value for the current resource until this environment variable is either reset or unset.

There are environment variable name shortcuts as well. For example, the data_path shortcut would be "wxpdpath". This are listed in the resource reference.

There are named environment variables as well. This works just like the resource file by specifying "wxp_" + program name + "_" + resource. So if you want color_data resource for only soundplot to be red, then you would specify:

export wxp_soundplot_color_data=red

Environment variables can be used to set temporary defaults, which can be handy for use with case studies, shell scripts or specialized situations.

Command Line

Each resource can be specified on the command line. Of course these must be specified each time the program is run. If more permanent values are to be set, look at setting resource values via the resource file or environment variable.

The syntax for the command line is very similar to the to that for other methods. Most of the resources are keyed resources. To specify that the resource is a keyed resource, the resource name is preceded by a "-". The syntax is "-" + resource name + "=" (or space) + its value.

sfcplot -plot_domain=mw

sfcplot -variable all

In many cases it would be nice to not list the entire resource name in the key. WXP provides two shortcuts. First, each resource has a 2 (sometimes 3) letter abbreviation associated with it that is listed below.

The term keyed resource means that since each value is keyed, many resources can be set each with its key and entered onto the command line in any order. For example:

sfcplot -pd=us -va=all -ti=US_PLOT

In most programs, there is a positional (non-keyed) resource. A positional parameter does not need to have the resource specified and ONLY its value is listed:

sfcplot 10030321_sao.wxp

Some programs like allow you to specify more than positional value:

domain -pd=us earth2plot 40,-100

The term positional means that they are order dependent. For domain, it uses the first value as a type of transformation and the second as the input data point.

Keyed and positional resources can be intermixed on the command line:

sfcplot -pd=us -va=all 10030321_sao.wxp -ti=US_PLOT

Common Resource Abbreviations
Resource Abbr Resource Abbr Resource Abbr Resource Abbr
name_conv nc file_path fp data_path dp con_path cp
input in in_file if output ou out_file of
current cu num_hour nh hour ho
plot_domain pd time ft level le variable va
identifier id stat_prior pr object_param oa parameter pa
city_file cf
map_file mf var_file vf
plot_type pl draw dr con_interval ci con_base cb
plot_scale sc color_table ct font_list fl
color_data cod color_map com color_latlon coll color_text cot
color_cont coco color_fill cof color_clabel cocl color_label col
device de geometry ge title ti label la
default df name na help h message me

Generic Resources

Even though programs have predefined resources it will reference, generic resources can also be specified. When the resource file is read, all resources are read in, not just those that are predefined. To set a generic resource in the defaults file, just add it:

*nids_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/nids

To change a generic resource on the command line, you must specify the full resource name on the command line.

radplot -nids_path=/data/nids

These resources are not used automatically but can be specified in the name convention file and along with color resources.

Conditional Resources

In special cases, resources may need to be changed. For example, using a single defaults file to cover multiple environments.; An example of this is:

IF LAB1 *model_path: /mnt/wxserver/data/model ELIF TEST *model_path: /data/nwstg/model ELSE *model_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/model END LDM

In this case, the first line is used if LAB1 is defined, otherwise the second if TEST is defined or the third otherwise. You can define LAB1 in two places. You can add a line to the resource file:


This carries over to all subsequent resource files. You can undefine a tag with:


The more common method is to add the definition to the wxpdefault environment variable:

setenv wxpdefault +lab1:/home/wxp/etc


grbcalc -default +lab1:/home/wxp/etc

For WXP version 6, there is a special definition "V6".

IF V6 *file_path: ~/wxp/etc:/home/wxp/etc *data_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/data:/home/wxp/data *con_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/convert:/home/wxp/convert ELSE *file_path: /home/wxp/etc *data_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/data #*con_path: /home/wxp/convert *con_path: /mnt/noaaport/nwstg/convert END

This will handle any differences in the resource specification between version 6 and older versions of WXP.

Updated January 2021

resources <<
>> database